Audi is set to launch 16 pure- electric models by 2025 as part of a £35.7 billion investment designed to take on long-time premium rivals such as BMWJaguar and Mercedes-Benz and EV upstarts that include Tesla.

The huge model assault will start with the launch of the E-tron SUV in September, and the firm says it will have three EVs on sale by 2020.

The plan is called the Roadmap E Initiative and also encompasses autonomous tech. It was developed by now-suspended Audi chairman Rupert Stadler, who was arrested by German authorities in June on matters relating to Dieselgate.

To realise these ambitions, Audi will use at least four different EV platforms being developed within the Volkswagen Group.

A modified version of the existing MLB platform, used for large SUVs, will be employed for the E-tron and heavily related E-tron Sportback. Details of the E-tron models remain scarce, but they are expected to use two motors – one on the front axle and one on the rear – instead of the three-motor system from the concept. They will combine to offer 402bhp, a 0-62mph time of around 6.0sec and a range of about 250 miles. The E-trons will also be the first series- production EVs to feature 150kW charging, allowing them to be charged from empty to 80% in less than 30 minutes.